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Valencia Island

VALENCIA ISLAND, or VALENTIA, an island off the south-western coast of Ireland, county Kerry, forming the southern horn of Dingle Bay. It is about 7 m. long and 3 broad at its widest part. The strait between the island and the mainland forms a fine natural harbour, land-locked with narrow entrances, and a depth of about 40 ft. at low tide, and thus capable of accommodating large vessels. At its north end is the Valencia Harbour station on a branch of the Great Southern & Western railway, with a ferry across the strait to Knightstown, the town on the island. The harbour is sometimes visited by warships, and is extensively used by fishing vessels, for which it is the headquarters of a district. At Knightstown are the buildings of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, for it was from Valencia, after several unsuccessful attempts from 1857 onward, that the steamer " Great Eastern " first succeeded in laying the cable to Newfoundland in 1866. There are four cables across the Atlantic and one to Emden in Germany. On the island are Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, constabulary barracks and a coastguard station. The meteorological reports received by the central office in London from Valencia are of high importance as giving the first indication from any station in the United Kingdom of weather influences from the Atlantic. Valencia formerly exported slate of fine quality. Its cliff scenery is magnificent, and its luxuriant semi-tropical vegetation remarkable. Its name is of Spanish origin; the Irish originally called it Dairbhre, or Darrery, the oak forest.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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